AASU plea for Assamese

Union submits demands to Gogoi

AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya in Guwahati on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, Aug. 11: The All Assam Students’ Union today moved Dispur to make Assamese a compulsory subject in all schools in the state, including Kendriya Vidyalayas.
Submitting representations on policies and demands for improvement of education to chief minister Tarun Gogoi and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the AASU said all students, whether studying in government or private schools, must learn Assamese as a subject.
AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya told reporters here that the students’ organisation had asked the state government to come out with a language policy for school and college education in the state.
Bhattacharyya said the policy must make Assamese a compulsory subject for all schools situated in Assam, including the CBSE-affiliated Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, which now function in English and Hindi.
He said in many other states of the country, the Kendriya Vidyalayas had introduced vernacular languages, according to the rules of the Union government.
“It has been observed that while students from the government schools learn both vernacular and English languages, their counterparts in English medium and private schools do away with the vernacular language. Such discrimination cannot be accepted. All school students in the state must learn both Assamese and English with equal importance,” Bhattacharyya said.
The students’ union has also demanded the government to appoint quality teachers to enable vernacular medium students to have a strong command over English.
Bhattacharyya said though the government has made it compulsory to learn English from Class I, it has not yet appointed quality and adequate number of teachers for the purpose.
According to him, the representations submitted today highlighted 15 policies and 63 demands to bring about much desired changes and improvement in the state education sector. Besides demanding that educational institutions should be free from all political interference, the AASU representations have sought a systematic introduction of the pre-primary section to make primary education more attractive and dynamic.
“The pre-primary section for the group between three and five years should concentrate on textbook free education and healthy physical and mental growth of children by introducing them to an educational environment with total freedom. The pre-primary section must be introduced in the line of kindergarten and nursery sections of English medium schools,” Bhattacharyya said.
Opposing the sudden imposition of NCERT books at the primary level, the students’ union told the chief minister and education minister that literal translation of NCERT books must be avoided and textbooks containing local history and geography should be introduced for students.
He said the government must come out with strict regulations to monitor the functioning of private schools in terms of fixing the students’ fees and salary of teachers. Among other demands were the introduction of a scientific and modern evaluation system by the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, reintroduction of commerce as a subject in SEBA curriculum, setting up of engineering college and law college in every district and a one-time grant of Rs 100 crore to Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University.